The Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Music is pleased to host "In Search of Freedom An Evening of Music and Conversation featuring Pianist and North Korean Defector Cheol Woong Kim"Wednesday, October 8, 7:30pm, Tsai Performance Center

in Arts, College of Fine Arts, News Releases
September 29th, 2008

Contact: Ellen Carr, 617-353-8783 |
Contact: Jean Connaughton, 617-353-7293 |

(Boston) – As part of a three city U.S. tour, Cheol Woong Kim will come to Boston University’s Tsai Performance Center on October 8 to help raise awareness for human rights in North Korea through music, film, and conversation. A piano prodigy and son of a ranking member of North Korea’s powerful ruling Worker’s Party, Cheol Woong Kim studied at the Pyongyang Music and Dance College and Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In 1999, at age 27, he was named chief pianist of the Pyongyang Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 2001, he defected in search of musical freedom. Now living in South Korea, Kim tours the globe as a performer and activist to build awareness of the human rights crisis in his homeland.

The concert features Chopin’s Nocturne No. 29 in C sharp minor and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, as well as the Korean folk song Arirang Sonata and North Korean composer Dong Choon Sung’s Chosun is One. Arirang, a classic Korean folk song well known in both North and South Korea, is about a separation of lovers. “Arirang” is an ancient Korean word with no direct modern meaning, although “beautiful darling” may be the closest translation. The lyrics speak of bitter longing for a departed lover. Some say that Arirang expresses something called “han,” a profound yearning or frustration of the Korean people. Chosun is One (“Korea is One”) is one of the most representative pieces by a North Korean composer. This piece was premiered by a North Korean pianist who won a major international piano competition. Upon returning from this victorious event, North Korean leader Kim Il Sung asked that the young pianist enter the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition. The pianist, fully aware of the high international standard, requested more practice time before entering the competition. Kim Il Sung became angry that his order was not followed immediately and sentenced the talented pianist to ten years of hard labor.

The evening also features a video presentation of SungEun Han-Andersen’s short documentary Voices Yet Unheard followed by remarks and Q & A with Cheol Woong Kim and SungEun Han-Andersen.

Presented by the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, the National Endowment for Democracy and the G. Chris Andersen Family Foundation.


In Search of Freedom
An Evening of Music and Conversation featuring Pianist and North Korean Defector Cheol Woong Kim

Wednesday, October 8, 7:30pm

Tsai Performance Center
Boston University
685 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston
T Green “B” Line, BU East stop

Free Admission


Boston University is one of the leading private research and teaching institutions in the world today, with two primary campuses in the heart of Boston and programs around the world. The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.

The Boston University School of Music at the College of Fine Arts, founded in 1872, is the oldest degree-granting music program in the United States. The character of the School is shaped by its position at the center of a major university situated in the heart of Boston, a city that takes learning and music seriously. The School is committed to integrating professional training and the study of the liberal arts for undergraduate students. At the graduate level, students participate in a rich intellectual and artistic environment, vital for professional development. Alumni and faculty are members of major symphony orchestras, opera companies, prestigious ensembles, and educational institutions throughout the world.


To request press tickets or additional information, please contact either:
Jean Connaughton at 617-353-7293 or
Ellen Carr at 617-353-8783 or

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